The Love of Cars: Jim Farley and the return of the Ford Bronco

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Orange 2021 Ford Bronco two-door front three-quarter
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The new Ford Bronco has created such a buzz that 165,000 deposits have already been placed for the new SUV. So, naturally, Justin Bell and Tommy Kendall want to talk about it.

And who better to ask about the return of the Bronco than new Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Farley?

“The Bronco is just one of these special things in our industry—like the Mustang, like the GT40,” Farley says in this week’s episode of The Love of Cars. “When you’re lucky enough to walk into the design studio and say, ‘OK, we’re going to allocate the capital to do this’ … then you’re around the engineers and you say, ‘What are we going to build here,’ you understand the pressure to get it right—to not make it retro, to not make it a cartoon, to make it real and do what the customers really want to do, and live up to (the legacy) … I drive a ’73 Bronco to work most days, so I know what the car was.”

Plus, Farley admits, the Chevy Blazer was already out there waiting.

“We’re taking on an established competitor,” he says. “It’s not easy to be a challenger. To be a challenger, you bear the responsibility to be better, and that’s how we approached the Bronco.”

The Love of Cars - Ford Bronco - Jim Farley
Tommy Kendall, Justin Bell, and Jim Farley. Hagerty/The Love of Cars

Farley, who was just promoted from Ford COO to CEO, has a firm grasp of Ford history, and that includes the automaker’s legacy on the track. He’s a racer, in fact.

“Some people like golf or tennis or mountain biking, I like racing my GT40 and Cobra,” Farley says. “[Behind the wheel] I’m not thinking about anything other than trying to do my job to get the car around as fast as we can.

“To me, it’s like a spa treatment. I have to concentrate so hard that I feel so relaxed when I get out of the car—and it’s such a sense of accomplishment … I just love the fact that the cars are being used as they should.”

There’s so much more on this week’s episode of The Love of Cars. In addition to chatting with Farley about the new Bronco, Bell and Kendall interview Indianapolis Colts offensive guard Quenton Nelson, who can’t wait to get his hands on Gateway’s 1966–77 Ford Bronco, and Seth Burgett, Gateway’s founder.

You’ll have to watch Season 2/Episode 2 to hear what they had to say. More episodes of The Love of Cars are on their way, so stay tuned.

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